What is Squalene
Scientist tried to find out, what is it in olive's, which provides remarkable health benefits and what is it in deep sea sharks which live in waters 600 to 1000 m deep, without sunlight. How can they manage to survive under such harsh conditions, where pressure is consistently high and oxygen supply is very poor? The answer is squalene.
Olive oil contains squalene in concentration of 0.4 - 0.7 %. However, liver of the deep sea shark forms the richest source of natural squalene. Shark liver oil consists of about 60-85 % of this organic matter.
It is generally assumed that squalene is essential substance from the very beginning of life that explains the presence of high concentration of squalene in new born babies, responsible for their soft skin, and such babies need to strengthen the immune system in no time after birth.
The body of babies and pre-schoolers show the highest levels of squalene. This fact explain the energetic behavior and the vivid eyes of young and healthy children.
Starting with an age of 25 the squalene level in our body drops significantly. Therefore it is not surprising that round an age of 30 the sport performances of most humans decline. Squalene can intercept this lack of energy and improve the power output and help protect us from several diseases.
What are the core benefits of Squalene
Health as well as imbalance of our body has its origin on the cellular level. A wide range of squalene’s core properties influence this level. Therefore, it finds a wide application and research studies found that dietary Squalene has:
- Superior Anti-oxidant properties - powerful Anti-oxidant 2
- A unique oxygen generation properties – Oxygen generator3 15
- Increases the body defence mechanisim - good immune response 2 7 12
- Anti-cancer growth properties 13
- Anti-tumour action of chemotherapeutic agents 14
- Lowers blood cholesterol level of LDL (bad cholesterol) - fat regulator 11
What is anti-oxidant and how Squalene is termed as superior- antioxidant
All substance in life, our bodies, our computer, humans and even the grass outside is made of atoms and molecules. Atoms are the smallest unit, while molecules are composed of two or more atoms. Humans and all other organisms maintain their basic structure and function by these molecules and undergo by metabolic reactions. In metabolic reactions, some bigger molecules are broken down into smaller molecules, and other smaller molecules organized into bigger molecules to extract energy for survival, growth and maintenance. Free radicals are produced constantly within and outside the cell, some as by-products of energy-releasing oxidation others by UV light, radioactivity, intake of drugs and chemicals. Inhalation of cigarette smoke, exposure to air pollution and mental stress is also accompanied by an increased production of free radicals, 4 causing disease states such as cancer, atherosclerosis, arthritis, diabetes, dermatological system disorders, cataracts and other age-related diseases. This is where antioxidants is used. Antioxidants neutralizes the harmful free radicals and hence improves quality of life.
Free radicals are created by losing an electron, the antioxidant molecule steps in and supplies the free radical with another electron and hence neutralizes it.
Due to its molecular structure, Squalene is an excellent antioxidant possessing great capacity to receive or donate electrons without suffering molecular disruption. Squalene’s powerful free radical-quenching ability has been shown to be equal to that of BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), one of the most powerful antioxidants known to science.10 This unique stability is the key to Squalene's ability to terminate the on-going or chain damage inside our bodies. (lipid peroxidation chain reaction. According to laboratory research, this happens specifically in the skin’s surface. 10
Squalene - Powerful immune stimulator
As we know human immune system is a miracle of nature, designed to protect us from the harmful effects of our environment and disease-producing virus, bacteria and other microbes. Without a well-developed and maintained immune system, we will suffer infections and serious life-threatening diseases. Hence optimal function of our immune system is important. Experimental studies have shown that squalene-supplemented diets lead to increased performance of the immune system and laboratory studies have confirmed that squalene enhances the function of macrophages.7 12 16 (macrophages are type of white blood cells that ingests (takes in) or kills bacteria and virus. Macrophages are key players in the immune system) Squalene show broad spectrum of anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. 3 Hence to maintain good immune response, intake of squalene is very promising in a current stressful and polluted environment.
Squalene – Prevents cancer
Various scientific data on diseases among people suggest, that squalene help prevent cancer and can also fight established tumors.
In Greece, women with high total fat intake, mainly olive oil, have a breast cancer rate of only about one-third that of women in the United States. 27
In Spain, a case-control study showed a reduced risk for breast cancer in women with the highest olive oil consumption.21
In Greece, a large case-control study breast cancer risk was 25% lower in women consuming olive oil more than once a day. 48
In another case-control study in Spain, women with the highest consumption of monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA)(largely from olive oil) had a greatly reduced risk of breast cancer.49
Leading scientists on this field, Theresa J. Smith and Harold L. Newmark, suggest that this protecting effect can be related to the high concentration (0.2-0.7%) of squalene in olive oil. 19 25 26 27
Squalene’s powerful antioxidant and cytoprotective effects (protecting cells from damage) are very significant. A research team from Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children demonstrated that squalene has selective cytoprotection on individual cell (in-vitro) and on whole organism. (in-vivo) 17 18
Through extensive research, squalene has further been shown to:
In addition the strong detoxifying properties of squalene are very promising. Because of its lipid nature, it detoxifies fat-soluble poisons, which the body finds much harder to deal with, than water-soluble poisons. Four independent researchers have tested the detoxifying abilities of squalene by measuring the extent to which squalene helps cleanse laboratory animals of unexpected harmful chemicals in the body. (xenobiotics) 8 38-41
- Prevent the occurrence of certain cancers. 19-29
- Prevent carcinogenic agents from inducing cancer due to its detoxification properties and its ability to prevent activation of the ras oncogene.2 19 22 30-33
- Protect cells from the effects of radiation 9 34 35 which makes it a suitable protector of healthy cells against cancer radiotherapy.
- Act directly against cancer tumor activity. 36 37
- Optimize the activity of chemotherapeutic agents. 11 23 32
Squalene – helps reduce cholesterol
What is cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance present in our body. The cholesterol in a person's blood originates from two major sources; the diet and the liver. Cholesterol is naturally present in cell walls or membranes everywhere in the body, including the brain, nerves, muscles, skin, liver, intestines, and heart. If we have too much cholesterol in our bloodstream, the excess may be deposited in arteries, including the coronary (heart) arteries, where it contributes to the narrowing and blockages that cause the signs and symptoms of heart disease
Squalene is one of the very ingredients that the body uses to manufacture cholesterol and research suggests that squalene lowers high blood concentrations of cholesterol and triglycerides 11 15 42 43 apparently by increasing the liver’s filtering capacity. These laboratory findings are supported by epidemiological correlations of squalene-rich olive oil consumption with a low incidence of coronary heart disease.44 Since squalene is precursor of the cholesterol synthesis and it metabolite's cholesterol In our body. Squalene increases the useful HDL-cholesterol, whereby decreases the level of bad cholesterol. (LDL-cholesterol)
In addition, The cholesterol lowering property of squalene has prompted pharmacologists to combine squalene with drugs used to lower cholesterol levels (statins) as it also enhances the effectiveness of cholesterol lowering drugs. 11 This leads to lower doses of drug formulations and reduction in potential side effects of drugs used to lower cholesterol levels. This can also reduce in the long term, therapeutic costs of patients having hypercholesterolemia.
Squalene - A unique oxygen generator
Deep sea Sharks use squalene present in their liver to manage the limited amount of oxygen in their deep-water environment. Above sea level, our atmosphere has lost some of the oxygen content it had a century ago, which explain our almost epidemic rates of cancer, heart disease and immune system malfunction etc. Specialists hold the opinion that nearly all human diseases are caused by a deficiency of oxygen in blood and cells. Squalene is the closest thing we have as an oxygen supplement .15 It facilitates oxygen delivery throughout the body. 3 Squalene is in fact an oxygen generator which provides a sufficient oxygen level and distributes it into the remotest cells of our body. Squalene has shown efficiency in improving the quantity and quality of the oxygen saturation in cells, leading in a impressive number of cases to an enhanced vitality and quality of life.
Squalene – Improves Skin Health, Sharp eye-sight and untroubled cerebration
Several studies indicate that consumption of squalene also provides us with other advantageous effects. The unsaturated fatty acids of squalene plays a crucial role in the moisture regulation of the skin. About 10 percent of our skin surface (skin lipids) is made of squalene. Squalene safeguards and transport oxygen to and from our skin.
Scientists as Kohno and others found, that squalene is a powerful scavenger of reactive singlet oxygen in the surface of human skin. 10 Besides this effect, Squalene helps to make skin healthy and smooth and protects against wrinkles by feeding and guarding important processes in the skin cells.
Laboratory research has shown that Squalene is capable of protecting the skin surface from free radical-induced lipid peroxidation 10 confirming its antioxidant properties. It has also been shown to have positive effects in the management of dermatitis and skin cancer.
Squalene improves the skin health as:
- influences the skin positively through a healthy digestion and an optimal intestinal flora
- intercepts through anti-oxidants free radicals in the skin
- stimulates a better blood circulation and nourishment of the skin
- brings the skin layers in balance and revitalize this important organ
- equalizes and regulates the metabolism from and to the skin
- improve the moisture balance and the elasticity of the skin
- creates a visible improvement of the skin structure
- protects against sun rays including UV-rays
This is one of the many reasons why squalene is widely used in cosmetic formulations as an effective skin moisturizer and also to prevent formation of lines and wrinkles in skin associated with aging process or cancer. A variety of squalene incorporated cosmetic products are available in the markets all over the world.
Squalene is also crucial for the well-being of our eyes especially for the photosensitive cells of the retina. Hence, Squalene proves to be beneficial in various eye disorders.3 50
Why I Need Squalene
Squalene can help enhance the quality of life, due to its anti-oxidant, immune boosting, and oxygen generation properties and can prevent serious diseases or can be very useful for patients suffering from several diseases like heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and hepatitis.
Squalene can help regulate blood cholesterol levels in particular to those who suffer from high cholesterol levels and one who eat a lot of fatty foods.
Squalene can be taken as a general health tonic for hard working people.
Squalene supplements have been widely tested for toxicity 3 and there is considerable proof that squalene is non-toxic and has wide range of benefits as:
- Re-establishes the auto-immune system
- Supports growth of blood cells
- Works as strong anti-oxidant and scavenger of free radicals
- Leads to extra natural energy and vitality
- Protects and cleans cells and tissues and keep them healthy
- Provides a good prostate function
- Helps to recover from stiff and painful muscles
- Provides elastic and healthy joints
- Protects the body during aging
- Strengthens the immune system and support the natural immune defence
- Provide a healthy skin: more elastic, less wrinkles
- Improved control of allergies, eczema and psoriasis
- Reduces formation of scar tissues
- Reduces harmful LDL-cholesterol
- Improves the body’s energy by providing the blood cells with oxygen
- Works as an effective antibiotic
- Protects against common cold and influenza
- Reduces gastric disorder and indigestion
- Improves the blood circulation
- Helps to control chronic illnesses like asthma, diabetes, rheumatism and arthritis
- Improves the memory and the concentration
- Helps to control the growth of several forms of cancer or helps prevent them
- Helps to excrete several toxins from the body
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